The meeting of the North Central Governors’ Forum has ended in Makurdi, Benue State, with a unanimous decision to collaborate in surmounting the region’s security challenges especially as it affects kidnapping, Cattle rustling and banditry.
In a Communique issued at the end of the meeting, held on Monday, the Forum also agreed to join relevant stakeholders for the economic rejuvenation and promotion of regional development through increased agricultural production, Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and bridging the infrastructure deficit.
Apparently irked by the level of insecurity in the country, the Forum called on the Federal Government to establish Military Camps and or Training Grounds in the Forest zones to block movement of hoodlums while the military should be adequately mobilized for operational proficiency.
The Governors enjoined the Nigeria Police Force to strengthen synergy with State Government in the recruitment and training of Community Police to provide adequate security at the grassroots level while also calling for the resuscitation of peace and security committees at the Local Government levels for quick decision on security and crime prevention.
The Communique enjoined member states to partner relevant Federal Government agencies such as the Immigration, Customs and Civil Defense to track proliferation of light and small weapons.
The Forum also resolved to enact unified laws to deal with the Almajiri phenomenon.
In order to boost food sufficiency in the region, and by extension the country as a whole, the Forum urged individual member states take advantage of NALDA to encourage farming activities and deepen production of high economic value crops such as Soya Beans, Sesame, Maize, Rice, Cashew and Ginger among others.
States are advised to develop fishery production programme and approach the Central Bank of Nigeria for funding, and to essentially look into modern ways of Livestock farming through the promotion of Ranching and also key into the Federal Government Livestock Transformation Plan.
The Forum also encouraged member states to establish Livestock and Commodity Border Markets to boost trade and enhance revenue generation as proactive response to the dwindling Federal allocation.
To check the excesses of Armed Bandits who have continued to attack Farmers, the Communique urged states to request the services of Agro Rangers of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps to provide security to farmers.
In view of the resurging Covid-19 pandemic, the Forum advised member states to intensify sensitization on the second wave of disease and the need to adhere strictly to established Covid-19 protocol – Washing hands with Soap under running water, wearing Face Mask in public places and keeping physical distance among others.
Mary Noel-Berje Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Niger state. 21- December- 2020